tv [untitled] January 23, 2011 3:00pm-3:30pm PST
the discussion about a mandatory program. >> that is at the city wide level now. it has been referred to the city administrator by the mayor. >> ok. commissioner murphy: as i understand it, it is our of our hands. >> ok, got it. >> i guess i'm here to speak to the commission about the executive director that -- executive director of that then mayor newsom issued. this was made possible by the work that everybody had a hand in putting together. that it binder made it possible for the mayor to issue executive director then to administrator lee to begin a new implementation work group. the idea that they did -- that capss did exactly what it was
supposed it appeared identified risks in a scientific way, identified a number of strategies to mitigate those risks, protect life and property in the event of an earthquake, so what the then mayor decided was to pass the task of implementing this report on to a group of folks who specializes in implementation. talking with the community, working with a number of different city departments, including the comptroller's office, dbm and obviously dbi is a big part of that, and public agencies to figure out how to protect the city. that executive director now resides with amy brown, and she and i have had some productive and substantive talks about how to move that forward now that she is our city administrator. we are going to be convening
folks, including people who participated in capss, but also, these were new participants in the process because it will require a lot of money down the line, and we are talking in the long term over a number of years. it will require a lot of outreach to differ stakeholder groups around the city to inform them was seismic safety actually means and how we can actually provide safer buildings. just on a bit of a tangent, one of the things that occupied a lot of my post-5:00 p.m. time last year was talking about proposition a going around the city. what i learned through that process, along with other folks who traveled around the city with me, the community members to not necessarily have as deep and understanding as the commissioners do about what seismic safety, how it actually can be implemented. the question we heard or
derivative to the question -- "you have not touched my house or my block, so i do not understand. where is the seismic safety? you guys have not given me any money to fix my house." that is not inappropriate way to think of seismic safety. it is a citywide goal, requires city-wide intervention, and that is what this executive director hopefully will move us toward. if we retrofit the school, on the corner of your building, that will provide you with more tangible benefits when there is an earthquake. if the school does not collapse, you have a fire on your block, and second, it can provide shelter for people who are displaced, so we need to start thinking about this in a citywide way. hence the executive director to move it to the city administrator who takes a citywide perspective and to encourage collaboration with the comptroller's office and all the other agencies and apartments that will push dissipate in this. the executive director -- director really does decide with
ms. brown, and she needs to structure it the way she wants to and lead the charge. as i said, i have talked to her a bit. she is sort of on board with this vision of it, but again, we look back to the groups that did all the work that enabled us to move this forward, so information and the formative conclusions do come from capss and ne executive director does include the policy decisions that were in the report. with that, i know john is here and has some things to say as well. i will answer some questions if you have any. commissioner hechanova: do you foresee any obstacles as a result of this report to the america's cup effort, to put it in place by 2013? >> that is a great question. i had not thought about that. is there something specific?
obviously, that is a lot of cortlandt, and the port has certainly some seismic issues they are dealing with and have been dealing with an need to deal with in the future, but specifically, that is a great question, and i had not thought enough about that angle. commissioner walker: thank you very much for your help. i wonder if we can count on some help for our new lieutenant governor to help fund the implementation of our recommendation? >> yes, i think he will dedicate unlimited funding to whatever -- [laughter] commissioner walker: on the record. >> the lieutenant governor does have a number of statutory responsibilities, including disaster management. this is something that he cares very deeply about. i cannot promise unlimited funding, though. i'm sorry. commissioner murphy: thank you.
>> john paxton, former co-chair of capss. thank you very much for all of your support. >> i think many of you know that last month, was one of the coat- directors -- project managers of the project. now, i'm just a concerned san francisco citizen. >> we are both here today as concerned citizens. commissioner, with regards to america's cup, that is on for plan. port land is outside of dbi's jurisdiction, and the project only includes privately owned
property, so i do not think there is any overlap there directly. is that your understanding? >> that is right. one of our recommendations is that dbi upgrades its code standards and encourages the for to do the same to be consistent. >> i know that ultimately, the building permits goes through us? >> the building permit for four property does not go through us, but we have been tasked with working with the port to provide additional support in the way of planchette services or inspection services it needed, so we will be there. and the court building code is a separate building code, but they rely very heavily upon the recommendations we make with the commission, said the seismic portion of the code is statewide, and they will be addressing the seismic portion of great at the port on any
property that is reconstructed or altered or newly built on the port property. commissioner murphy: thank you. any further questions? >> i'm not done. each one of us, i think, has our own ideas about what form these seismic safety efforts should take. you step back, and you realize we're all pulling 90% in the same directions. certainly had some mild disagreement with jason and perhaps with each of you in terms of what direction this should all go. it is exciting how much we have gotten done, and we will all make sure that this does not sit on the shelf, that we get action implemented that we do not get stuck in more committees and reports and what have you down the line. the capss initiative has moved
on to amy brown. there are -- i will make a mild disagreement with you, director, in terms of i think there are these three or four things that we have asked webic to do -- asked the bic to do that rightly remain with the building inspection commission. these are as i see it, some black and white building issues that are technical in nature. there were four recommendations we recommended. first was to enact the post- earthquake repair guidelines. one of the main reasons that i want laura up here with me -- i'm the liberal arts major, and i'm not the engineer. laura is the engineer, and she understands this stuff, so when you come up with the technical questions, i certainly want her here. the second request was the bic
cards some standards for retrofitting, that that would be -- we all want to encourage people to do voluntary retrofitting. they will then know that if they conform to those standards on their retrofitting efforts, that they will not be asked down the line to come and redo the work they have done. three is evaluation criteria when buildings are evaluated, and i can go into that a little bit more if you wish, and then segue into the permit tracking system, we would certainly like to have the results of the evaluation and retrofit activity's been publicly available on a permit tracking system. and by the way, if we have -- i do not want to call them
inspectors, but he evaluators go out and evaluate buildings for seismic capacity, i think it is a one time in a lifetime or more than 10 lifetimes to actually have a human set of eyes on the inside of the door, and i think we want to give some thought on what non-structural issues we want to be looking at to populate this new database, which we are all looking forward to having. but there are these four items that i think that we felt were important for the bic/dbi to act on. they kind of go down in terms of the lowest hanging fruit is at the top. the things that might be a little harder or not this time sensitive towards the end of the list, but we certainly encourage the commission to move forward on these four items. >> can i ask a question?
i believe that part of what we were doing throughout the project, the first item here is to deal with those post- earthquake standards. maybe some of these are already in play. >> some of these recommendations are in place or are being worked on. some of them are, some of them are not -- commissioner walker: which are not? just to be -- i would kind of like to -- because i know we are working on some of these that deal with our jurisdiction. >> right, lawrence is working on the -- we want to have standard design criteria for voluntary seismic retrofits, and the engineers are working on that. i do not have an estimated
completion date. i could probably get that for you by next meeting. the other -- evaluation upon sale. >> right, we would not be doing that. the property owner would hire an outside evaluating. we will not be evaluating the buildings. evaluations will be coming to us to recommend approval or more work to be done on the buildings. and maybe that would be us just requiring it? >> my personal opinion is that there needs to be sound evaluation standards and that the appropriate place for the standards to come up would be through the department of building inspection. that is certainly worthy of some discussion, and we can all talk about it, but we want to have as we move forward on the process on how we get to the mandatory
retrofits. there is some bumps in the road bond. likely bumps in the road before we get to that point. i know that most of us are certain -- or certainly many of us think back requiring evaluations early on is going to be the recipe until we come up with some funding mechanism to pay for the work on private properties. >> i know that we talked about it in our caps meeting, requiring a report from property owners. we had a list of likely at risk buildings. we can send a letter out and say this is a mandatory evaluation. four, which is our database system, are we including in our fields information about structural foam rubber bridge a vulnerability and seismic viability, i guess it would be? >> that is part of the requirement, for the system to
be able to actually -- design the system so we can add fields as necessary, so whatever information we need to collect on any parcel of property, whether it be seismic, whether it be environmental, whether it be anything for any department because this is a city-wide system. we have to have that ability to add fields as needed to collect any type of information and report. >> i agree. i think that this is -- these are reasonable requests of us, that we are even now engaged in. maybe what we could do is just offer support to our department working with amy brown and the city administrators group to make sure that we do it right. but some of this we are already doing. >> yes, you are. i would like to certainly -- we want to keep the city, we want to keep dbi, bic moving forward
on this effort. there is enough resistance. we do not need to be our own worst enemies. the first item, in terms of enacting the post-earthquake repair standards -- there is a report firmly known as task 3, that comes up with specific guidelines that are there and are in place, and we would like to see that move forward and actually get enacted. that is pretty low lying fruit that would be pretty easy to do. >> the commission would have to amend the voluntary seismic retrofit program we already have in place. >> this is actually a different issue. so we know that the policy -- the city currently has a policy
in place that we know is not very good. it did not work very well after loma prieta, so one of the task was to develop a better policy, so what you have is a policy that is extremely specific and ready to be adopted. we believe that is a very easy activity to do. >> the purpose is to make sure we can get enough funds, people who have damages can help get the funding to help fix. we started this about five years ago. the state provided the information to us. i agree. i think that if there is -- maybe what we could do is put that on the next agenda to talk about or have you look at it and see if we are ready to do that. >> right, and we can bring that also to the code advisory committee because it will have to be amended. >> i have a question for john and laurie.
on the category of the evaluation criteria and as a requirement upon sale, who and where does the report come into play as to a requirement for -- on the deed, and/or by real estate disclosure item, or -- i'm just asking whose court is it going to be on? >> this is a policy question still unresolved, still up in the air, and there is no answer to your question. that is the issue that will be with the cao's office. they will come up with guidelines. the issue right now is how do we move forward with our seismic retrofit efforts? we need to have that happen. we know there is vulnerability.
we want to identify the most vulnerable buildings, make sure we do not bother the owners of buildings that are not as vulnerable. and we took a look around and we saw that one group of building owners who did not have much of a problem was the loma buildings because you have sophisticated lenders, sophisticated buyers, tenants, what have you, and there was a flow of information in the marketplace that worked very well on many of those buildings, creating an environment for voluntary retrofit of those, and until there is a funding source in place, are we going to be providing public funding for private property? i do not know the answer to that. that is going to be a policy
question. in the past, there has been a strong political feeling that we could not require a mandatory retrofit ordinance until we could provide financing for supportive financing on this, and obviously, the current budget issues are making the issue even more bleak, even more difficult, and when we took a look at what was successful, if we can get buildings evaluated, and it has been suggested upon sale, there is no answer in terms of who is going to do the retrofit yet, or who is going to be required, or will it be on the deed, or will it be part of a report -- those are all issues that need to get resolved down the line, but i think i'm safe in saying that most of us are feeling very strongly that in the interim, we can at least get
these evaluations out there and make the findings of these evaluations done. in your report, you have this matrix of what we propose for a time line. >> you have all these together. >> it is part of the mayor's executive. >> the recommendations were that there would be a spread out timeline. the first buildings we would like to see that we move ahead on are the soft story buildings. that was our previously tass
report that came out a year or year and a half ago. and there was pushing. we would like to certainly recommend those. that is the first group of buildings we would like to see evaluated. and then there is a suggested timeline on that matrix on how long this will go, so it is certainly not something -- maybe in our dreams it would happen next year or year after next. i do not see that happening. it is going to be a long, spread out process, but we are hoping to get these items, starting with the evaluations moving forward, and if we had some guidelines for those -- we started thinking about it. i think we're going to need the retrofit standards first. before that, if we could adopt the recommendation in item one, that would be good, but these are the items we believe should stay under our department with
the technical issues. >> i guess i'm confused. are we acting on anything here today or just hearing an update? >> i, i think that's -- since we are already working on some of this stuff, i would like to have bus support continuing this and prioritizing this and working with the city administrator's office to look at the group they are putting together to get their help when needed. i think there are things we probably should be doing on our own, like establishing -- #one is really our thing. we have to do the post- earthquake repair. that is our job, and i think the director is already doing that. it is really important if we have an earthquake now that
those are in place so that people can get help, financial help, otherwise they do not. >> given that we do not really need to take action on the reports as they have fulfilled their obligation necessary to meet the contract, i would just like to personally and professionally commend the effort, given how long the challenges and how big they were, and more importantly, that the collaboration that is needed to keep moving this forward with the momentum that it has -- it is not as if we have reached just the apex. it is a continuous climb. thank you so much for your hard work, and looking forward to your participation, both professionally and also as citizens of this great city. >> thank you, commissioner. we certainly have a very supportive bic, and we would not
be where we are today if it were not for the support. most of us are very enthusiastic about how the chips have fallen here with all the politics inside city hall. ed lee is entirely behind us. i'm thrilled to see jason elliott remaining on the second floor. amy brown attended a number of our meetings. she is on board. most of you have attended some of our meetings and are supportive on this. i think there is an incredible joint cooperative effort and feeling that we need to move things forward, and we are going to continue to do that, but thank you to each of you here. them a second that. >> thank you. one more item i wanted to add is
on my concern, especially on the disclosure side is that we do not get into a category much like the toxic assets that has evolved from the refinancing, structuring, and all that, that on the seismic side, that the passing of the buck does not ultimately become problematic on not doing what is required or recommended to be done for the buildings. >> on that matrix clinch that commissioner clinch reyes and showed you, we started with several stages of the valuation. we can take a look at what happened, and there are 40
buildings -- is that about right? that have not been retrofitted yet. that ordinance came into play -- was it 15, 20 years ago? are those within the category of the toxic assets that you might be discussing? some fear that you have these things that nobody wants to touch, something like that. there are some useful buildings out there that have not been retrofitted, and are delinquent. so we are going to have some issues, and i guess, we all need to figure out how to best manage those issues, but the good news is that 95% of the buildings did get retrofitted. so we are a lot safer from damage, loss of life, injuries than we were in the past, so,
hopefully, we can start moving forward on these other buildings and have similar success. >> i'm proud to also say that san francisco, in your efforts, is leading the effort on this level and category of concern for the health, safety, and welfare of citizens of any city that is prone to earthquakes. >> thank you. >> just for clarification, we are not taking any action on these items. >> correct. >> is there any public comment on this? seeing none, we can move on to item 10, which is review and approval of the minutes of the august 18, 2010 meeting.
the minutes are approved. >> we are now on item 12. at this time, commissioners may make inquiries to staff regarding various documents, policies, practices, and procedures, which are of interest to the commission. i'm going to bring up one that commissioner murphy had asked for for this meeting, and he needed to give the department time to be able to put the information together, and he wanted a 90-day compilation of how many complaints we get and how many of those are anonymous, how many of those are anonymous, and how many of those anonymous